It is a novel of triumph and tragedy, noted for the remarkable way its author captures a cross-section of American society.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Decline of the American Dream in the s On the surface, The Great Gatsby is a story of the thwarted love between a man and a woman.
The main theme of the novel, however, encompasses a much larger, less romantic scope. Though all of its action takes place over a mere few months during the summer of and is set in a circumscribed geographical area in the vicinity of Long Island, New York, The Great Gatsby is a highly symbolic meditation on s America as a whole, in particular the disintegration of the American dream in an era of unprecedented prosperity and material excess.
Fitzgerald portrays the s as an era of decayed social and moral values, evidenced in its overarching cynicism, greed, and empty pursuit of pleasure. The reckless jubilance that led to decadent parties and wild jazz music—epitomized in The Great Gatsby by the opulent parties that Gatsby throws every Saturday night—resulted ultimately in the corruption of the American dream, as the unrestrained desire for money and pleasure surpassed more noble goals.
When World War I ended inthe generation of young Americans who had fought the war became intensely disillusioned, as the brutal carnage that they had just faced made the Victorian social morality of early-twentieth-century America seem like stuffy, empty hypocrisy.
The dizzying rise of the stock market in the aftermath of the war led to a sudden, sustained increase in the national wealth and a newfound materialism, as people began to spend and consume at unprecedented levels.
A person from any social background could, potentially, make a fortune, but the American aristocracy—families with old wealth—scorned the newly rich industrialists and speculators.
Additionally, the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment inwhich banned the sale of alcohol, created a thriving underworld designed to satisfy the massive demand for bootleg liquor among rich and poor alike.
Fitzgerald positions the characters of The Great Gatsby as emblems of these social trends. Nick and Gatsby, both of whom fought in World War I, exhibit the newfound cosmopolitanism and cynicism that resulted from the war.
East Egg represents the established aristocracy, West Egg the self-made rich. As Fitzgerald saw it and as Nick explains in Chapter 9the American dream was originally about discovery, individualism, and the pursuit of happiness.
In the s depicted in the novel, however, easy money and relaxed social values have corrupted this dream, especially on the East Coast. Additionally, places and objects in The Great Gatsby have meaning only because characters instill them with meaning: Eckleburg best exemplify this idea.
Just as Americans have given America meaning through their dreams for their own lives, Gatsby instills Daisy with a kind of idealized perfection that she neither deserves nor possesses.
Like s Americans in general, fruitlessly seeking a bygone era in which their dreams had value, Gatsby longs to re-create a vanished past—his time in Louisville with Daisy—but is incapable of doing so.
When his dream crumbles, all that is left for Gatsby to do is die; all Nick can do is move back to Minnesota, where American values have not decayed. In the novel, West Egg and its denizens represent the newly rich, while East Egg and its denizens, especially Daisy and Tom, represent the old aristocracy.
Fitzgerald portrays the newly rich as being vulgar, gaudy, ostentatious, and lacking in social graces and taste.(The s: Lifestyles and Social Trends: Overview) The ’s were a decade of parties, money, and extravagant lifestyles. The decade portrayed the American . The “Roaring Twenties” Culturally and socially, the Roaring Twenties were a heady time of rapid change, artistic innovation, and high-society antics.
Popular culture roared to life as the economy boomed.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby introduces the roaring twenties with a series of golden prosperity and riches beyond belief. With his eccentric chraracters, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, and Jay Gatsby, Fitzgerald shapes the perception of ’s New York and shows the unique social aspect of .
F. Scott Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby in The novel showed every aspect of the lifestyles of the privileged in the ’s.
Roaring Twenties From Wikipedia, increased consumer demand and significant changes in lifestyle (“roaring twenties”). During the twenties, the economy of the United States evolved from a. This Gatsby isn't the Gatsby of John Held, Jr.
cartoons, nor is it Boardwalk Empire. It's darker, grittier, and much sexier than the priggish Fitzgerald could have imagined.
It's darker, grittier, and much sexier than the priggish Fitzgerald could have imagined. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby is a classic of the genre.
Jazz and the “Roaring Twenties” Jazz music became wildly popular in the “Roaring Twenties,” a decade that witnessed unprecedented economic growth and prosperity in the United States.